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Goodreads Shocker and Heart Attack: Fiza Pathan

January 26, 2016

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At 11:45 p.m. yesterday, I got my results of the publishing course I was doing with IAP College, and to my utter happiness I realized that I had scored a 100% in my exam and therefore will secure an honors certificate. My family, especially my mother, who was praying the rosary for me was ecstatic. As for myself, I was so tired after a whole day of teaching that I just crashed into bed.

However, before I went to sleep, I went on Goodreads and sent a few private messages to authors whom I found very interesting, asking them whether I could interview them (for free obviously) on my blog and get to know their literature, after which I would help them to promote their works on a regular basis on my social networking sites. Let me make it clear that I DID NOT AT ALL mention that in return they should promote my books or my writings. A thought such as this would never even cross my mind being the self-made person I am; besides I do my own promotion MYSELF. I just wanted to help other authors whom I believed in, to reach a vast audience especially in India…it was purely for the love of THEIR work that I wished to conduct interviews and promote their works. I also left a request in the recommendation section of the same site which went as follows:

“I would like to read a book from a Goodreads author or poet who would also like to be interviewed by me on my blog for free and then I will on a regular basis promote their work and literature on all my social networking sites.”

When I woke up this morning at around 5:00 a.m., I washed my face and began to read a book after which at around 8:00 a.m. when my Uncle Blaise was fast asleep with his mouth open as if he were dead, I went on Goodreads to see if any of the authors in question had replied…….AND I GOT A HEART ATTACK…….GOODREADS STATED THAT THEY WERE GOING TO FLAG MY ACCOUNT!!!

My jaw dropped as I read that Goodreads stated that such ‘selfish’ messages were not going to be tolerated and messages such as mine would always land into an authors’ spam. Goodreads also stated plainly that I wasn’t to promote my own books in my message requests to authors…BUT I DID NOT DO THAT AT ALL……for heaven’s sake I was wanting instead to promote the person I was sending the message to, with NOTHING in return but the love of literature and writing!

So…my question to you dear reader/blogger is whether I deserved such an unjust treatment when we know for ourselves that:

  • There are agents who charge a bomb to promote an author and where most of the time the promotion does not reap any benefits
  • We are inundated with messages to BUY and REVIEW books
  • Many competing authors sometimes do not wish to promote another fellow author’s work especially if they belong to the same niche

Besides all these rhetoric questions which we can ponder upon at a later date, the main question which I put to you is – HAVE YOU FACED A SIMILAR PROBLEM OR NOT ON GOODREADS?

Please do comment and enlighten me on my ‘error’ if you have an answer to the question I have posed.

I also sincerely thank the Goodreads team for being kind enough to warn me before blocking my account or worse? I have had a good relationship with Goodreads since I joined it in 2012 and wish to maintain the same. Still, I am much aggrieved by what has occurred. I also am not aware who spammed me, or whether my ‘request’ in the recommendation section of Goodreads was at fault for what occurred?

Law abiding citizen as I am, I would like all the advice I can get on the ‘fault’ that I have committed unintentionally.

I also take this opportunity to invite ANY PUBLISHED OR TO BE AUTHOR/POET/ESSAYIST/JOURNALIST/FREELANCE WRITER/EDITOR/GHOST WRITER etc., or anyone who simply loves books to freely:

  1. Send me a public or private message on insaneowl.com if you wish me to interview you on your body of work and your taste in books and THE INTERVIEW IS FREE PLEASE
  2. If you so wish I will promote you and your other articles and works on a regular basis on all my social networking sites WITHOUT EXPECTING ANYTHING IN RETURN BUT YOUR BLESSINGS and THAT YOU CONTINUE TO WRITE
  3. If you are thinking of writing a book or are in the process of writing a book, send me a message and I will promote you and take you to your first readers FOR NOTHING IN RETURN….MY DOOR IS OPEN FOR EVERYONE

The interviews, reviews, and promotion of books of authors and poets will be done on my blog insaneowl.com. There is no reciprocal favor requested for such promotion except the realization that we are facing severe competition from all sources and any little thing helps.

Today in India, we celebrate Republic Day, the day our Constitution was enacted which taught all of us that freedom of speech and goodwill to others are the keywords towards not only a better India but a better world. I leave you with a quote from the Father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi which symbolizes the core value of insaneowl.com:

“The best way to find your self is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Postscript: BACK WITH A BANG, COMMENCES WITH AN INTERVIEW WITH REDFERN JON BARRETT, WRITER AND POLYAMORY RIGHTS CAMPAIGNER.
LOOK OUT FOR THE POST TODAY.

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Copyright Fiza Pathan 2016

6 Comments
  1. It does appear that an author has got the wrong end of the stick bout your message and reported you to Goodreads. It’s obvious that you have committed no wrong and in any reply to Goodreads I hope you suggest they read your message for themselves.
    There are too few authors who would willingly advertise for free the work that others do and allow then such a platform as to be interviewed by you for your blog. You’d think Authors would be jumping at the chance.To be honest, if I were still writing I’d be jumping at the chance too. I’m extremely grateful for the retweets you do on my existing books for me and will happily verify you have never asked anything in return.
    I do hope you get things sorted out with Goodreads.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • Thank you for the message sir. It means a lot to me & I hope with your blessings I will be able to be of service to other writers. I need guidance & I am ready to accept advice. 🙂

  2. It is not your fault. There have been some strange things going on in the background behind Goodreads. I too like to do book reviews, promotions, but I haven’t been lately because of all the drama.

    • Thank you for enlightening me. It is nice to have such interactions so that others won’t face the same problems. 🙂

  3. Not your fault at all…you had all good intentions. Don’t get upset…

  4. What happened to you with Goodreads helps explain why I left Goodreads in 2013. My books are there but I’m not. If I could removed my books from Goodreads, I would. My experiences with Goodreads has not been good thanks to a flock of trolls known as the Goodreads Bullies.

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